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Should social networks be responsible for users content?

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Conversation Summary

As social media networks have grown, so too has their influence upon society. People access their social media accounts like Twitter or Facebook multiple times throughout the day and for some it is their only source of news or current events.

Originally these social network sites were exempt from any prosecution resulting from content that a user uploads to their site. The argument was that they were not publishers of the content, and were simply just a platform for users to express their views and connect with others. However, recently these social media networks have become very active in banning people and censoring content that doesn’t meet their terms and conditions. This, in the opinion of some people, means that they are no longer simply a sharing platform, but are now a publisher and should be liable for all the content on their platform as they are actively choosing what content will be allowed on their network.

Questions

  • What social networks do you use?
  • Do you think social networks should be allowed to ban people?
    • If yes, under what circumstances?
    • If no, why not?
  • Do you think social networks should be allowed to remove a users content that doesn’t break any laws?
    • If yes, under what circumstances?
    • If no, why not?
  • Do you think social networks should be held responsible for content uploaded by its users?
  • What problems can you see happening if social networks start to become liable for its users content?

Key Vocabulary

  • Social network noun
  • Social media noun
  • Connect verb
  • Liable adjective
  • Law noun
  • Circumstance noun
  • Censor verb
  • Source noun
  • Platform noun
  • View noun
  • Express verb
  • Ban verb
  • Publisher noun
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